At Kinney Group, Agile methodology is an essential component of how we deliver projects and execute on customer success. To adopt Agile and reap the full benefits, it’s important to see the full picture of what this process can do for your business. In our years of execution on this process, here’s what we view as the key benefits that Agile can bring to your business model.
1. Ability to Pivot
Pivots are a mess to watch and can be intimidating to get involved with…(queue up the scene of Chandler and Rachel helping move a couch with Ross yelling “Pivot!”).
If a customer comes to you and says we just upgraded our systems from v1.5 to v2.0 – you’re next step will be to make changes to the software you’re developing for them. Maybe it’s an easy fix, but what if that’s just one of many continuous changes you see in a project… How about when a new revenue stream emerges for your business to take charge of before the market is saturated with competitors? Is your team scared to try bringing on the new challenge? Have you tried and fallen on your faces?
The ability to pivot quickly can be life or death in some situations. The best way to turn this chaos into a competitive advantage is to put a new way of thinking around this new idea. Let’s talk about pivot and process.
2. Drive Your Process
First, let’s talk about different processes that drive agile. Agile is a mindset. There are many frameworks to get the job done- Scrum, Kanban, Scrumban, Extreme Programming, SAFe, LeSS, Lean Software Development, Crystal, DAD, AgileUP, the list goes on. Take the framework that fits your team and run with it. Make the AGILE planning scale to your business.
A perk of working at a company like Kinney Group, that’s fast-paced and zoned in on results, we’re able to constantly adapt our Agile methodology to fit our team’s needs. As a Scrum Master, here are some questions I’ve seen asked by team members…
Can we do a PI Planning Session for a team of two people?
How about combining two different scrum teams into one stand-up?
What about a Scrum of Scrums? Can we get our business leaders internally tracking on company goals? Oh, and leave out the Scrum Masters?
I’ll give you a hint, the answer to all of the above is YES. Typical PI Planning is for an Agile Release Train (ART) made up of 50-125 people from multiple scrum teams consisting of 5 or more individuals. With a company size of about 85 employees, that would be our entire business. Make the planning process meet your business’s needs and size down.
3. High Performing Teams
The best leadership trait from the Agile Manifesto is to Build projects around motivated individuals. Give them the environment and support they need and trust them to get the job done. At Agile MeetUps, I hear this all the time from other Scrum Masters: working with high performing teams is one of the best feelings. Realistically, a team reaching this status only happens 1 out of every 10 teams you work with. It’s your job to empower your scrum teams to be excited to work on each project. Agile encourages up, down, and all-around communication.
Our CEO, Jim Kinney, tells us all the time, “When we’re running in the same direction, we are unstoppable.” Delivery early and deliver often. You’ll never have the dreaded conversation “Stop! You’re going the wrong way” again. Delivering small bits of value on a consistent, often weekly, basis will keep your stakeholders informed of what you are working on and the direction you’re headed.
“When we’re running in the same direction, we are unstoppable.”
Kinney Group uses Scaled Agile Framework® (SAFe®) as a jumping-off point for our Agile journey. We’ve taken this process, made a few mistakes along the way, and turned it into a process that has brought our company to the next level. By utilizing this process, our company has been able to accomplish our goals quicker, bring on new revenue streams, and develop our own product solutions package. All while keeping our company culture and doubling down on a customer-centric approach. If you’re looking for successful services delivery, let our process work its magic and help you solve your analytics and automation needs.